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Do-It-Yourself Guide: Building a Home Theatre PC / HTPC

Do-It-Yourself Guide: Building a Home Theatre PC / HTPC - PCSTATS
Abstract: Computers are a perfect fit for the entertainment room, and building a home theatre PC is not more difficult than assembling a standard system - as long as you have the right components for the task.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jan 20 2006   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS DIY Guide

Connecting data cables

When dealing with a SFF PC, it's best to connect as many cables as you can before you fully assemble the PC, as it can be extremely difficult to reach the cables afterwards. The Aopen XCube is no exception, so plugging in the Hard drive and CD drive data cables now is the best way to go.

As the Seagate Barracuda is a Serial ATA drive, we need to use a SATA data cable to connect it to the motherboard. The sata data cable should be plugged into the first SATA port on the motherboard, which should be clearly labeled as SATA_0 or SATA_1. The cable is keyed to only fit one way, and it doesn't matter which end of the cable you plug into the motherboard.

The DVD writer uses an 80-pin IDE cable, which should be plugged into the 1st (generally blue) connector on the motherboard. Again, it is keyed so it can only fit one way. Once these cables are securely plugged into the motherboard, place the removable rack with the hard drive and DVD drive installed back into the body of the case and screw it in.

Now it's time to connect the hard drive to the motherboard and power supply. As the Seagate Barracuda is a Serial ATA drive, we need to use the other end of the SATA data cable we plugged into the motherboard, and also since the drive uses a SATA power connector (some SATA drives use the conventional 4-pin Molex connectors that IDE hard drives and CD-ROMs use), we need an adaptor to convert a Molex power plug into a SATA power plug.

Plug the SATA data cable and power adaptor cable into the appropriate connections at the back of the hard drive. They are keyed so they will only fit one way.

Now connect the other end of the SATA power adaptor to a free Molex 4-pin power connector.

Now to connect the DVD writer. The other end of the 80-pin IDE cable attaches to the corresponding connector in the back of the drive, while a free 4-pin Molex connector should be plugged in to provide power. Both connectors are keyed to only fit in one direction.

Next up, we'll install the videocard and TV-tuner into this small form factor home theatre PC...

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS DIY Guide
 Pg 1.  Do-It-Yourself Guide: Building a Home Theatre PC / HTPC
 Pg 2.  Ingredients for a Good HTPC
 Pg 3.  Choosing The Video Card
 Pg 4.  Installing the processor
 Pg 5.  Installing the CPU - Continued
 Pg 6.  Installing the heatsink
 Pg 7.  Installing the DDR Memory
 Pg 8.  Installing hard drives and optical drives
 Pg 9.  — Connecting data cables
 Pg 10.  Installing the video card and tv tuner
 Pg 11.  Identifying and connecting the rear ports
 Pg 12.  Connecting the computer to the TV
 Pg 13.  Connecting the Television signal to the TV-tuner
 Pg 14.  Tweaking Windows XP for TV display

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